Are you using big data analytics to outsmart competitors?

By Margarita O'Malley|21 July 2014

Most business leaders understand the inherent value of analytics insights for improving operations and driving smarter decisions; however, a truly facts based culture is still elusive. It’s seems that we are all talking about it but not many of us are actually doing it. If we are doing it, we may not actually be doing it right!

Deloitte, in a recently published white paper, refers to the process of using analytics as making more effective decisions based on analysis or posing and answering, “crunchy questions for sticky issues,” and we couldn’t agree more.

Analytics is not new; what’s different is the speed at which the data can be made available for better and faster decision making. Most companies already using analytics tend to focus on five key areas of decision making:

1. Clients

2. Risk

3. Workforce

4. Finance

5. Supply chain

At its highest use, (and most of us are not there yet), Deloitte says, “....analytics can deliver uncommon insights and value.”

UKN Group partners with IBM and SAS to provide a market leading analytics offering. For more than 30 years, SAS (a world leader in business analytics software), has worked with IBM to deliver solutions that help organisations improve operational efficiency, strengthen client relationships, increase profitability and reduce risk. The solution leverages the power of SAS’ Visual Analytics tool combined with IBM’s data warehouse offering to put the power of SAS’ analytics into the hands of business users.

By being able to leverage the in-memory processing capability provided by SAS along with the power of the IBM Netezza, UKN Group is providing clients with accelerated analytics, with short ‘time-to-results’ and driving true business benefit.  The insurance sector is leading the game at the moment and delivering faster decisions on risk and pricing for their clients.

But where to start?

Where better to start than with clients as they are the life blood of all our businesses. So what signals are clients putting out that we want to analyse? Multiple channels constantly generate an array of signals from clients, such as voice, e mail, social media, and video, internal and external.  It’s easy to be overwhelmed and fail to pull these together into a meaningful strategy and action plan.

Analytics brings to mind complicated formulas and algorithms, however the results won’t mean anything unless an organisation has the skills to understand and apply them. Getting the right platform and then talent in place is vital to the success of any investment in analytics.

Whether it works for you to gain meaningful insights remains dependent on how well and when you adopt the right platform and talent for your business.

If you had the right platform and talent, what would you do with the resulting data to gain competitive advantage?

Co-authored by James Lay & Margarita O’Malley

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